January 24, 2016  

NAMM 2016: The Best New Gear and Plugins

2015 NAMM Show - Media Preview Day

The Winter NAMM Show takes place every January in Anaheim, California. About an hour outside LA, it’s the world’s oldest musical instruments and technology trade shows. Priding ourselves on being at the heart of the action, we visited NAMM 2016 to find out what new kit and software is making waves in music technology. Read our guide below.

Korg Minilogue

Korg’s analogue renaissance continues with perhaps their most complete offering yet – the Minilogue. With four analogue voices, a built-in sequencer, arpeggiator and delay, two oscillators and envelopes, LFO and much more, it’s a fairly comprehensive affair that manages to come in at a bargain £435. We were so impressed we brought it in for a first-look video the day it was announced and it’s racked up over 17,000 views in a week! Check it out above.

Arturia MatrixBrute

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Usually busying themselves making some of the finest software models of classic synths, French company Arturia have recently shifted their focus into hardware, where their Mini and MicroBrute synths – as well as their BeatStep sequencer range – have found favour among producers worldwide. Even so, their new MatrixBrute monster synth, billed as “the most advanced analogue synth ever made” definitely came as a surprise. The mono/duophonic synth features two VCOs, three envelopes, two LFOs and a modulation matrix at its core. No word on pricing yet, but we’re expecting to be at the top end of the scale.

Waves Abbey Road Plate Reverb

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Abbey Road’s status as a music industry icon is undisputed but for those of us who can’t afford to record in their coveted studios, they’ve been sharing their sound through a series of plugins via their own platform and veteran developers Waves. The latest collaboration sees their revered plate reverbs make their way to our DAWs via the Waves Abbey Road Plate Reverb plugin. We haven’t heard it in action yet but we’re drooling at the thought of having those classic sounds at our fingertips! Hopefully the CPU hit isn’t too cruel.

Roland System-500

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Roland’s System 100m is a legendary semi-modular synth and the Japanese giants have brought it back to life in the form of a Eurorack friendly series of modules. The System-500 can be bought as a complete kit and accompanying power casing or as individual modules for anyone who’s already bought into the Eurorack system. It’s a sexy bit of kit with pricing still TBC.

Pioneer CDJ and DJM NXS 2

Pioneer’s NXS range of CDJs and mixers are the industry standard, populating DJ booths around the world. Never ones to rest on their success, Pioneer have announced a brand new update to their multimedia players. NXS 2 will now feature a touch-screen display with full QWERTY keyboard for searching as well as new 96/24 converters and four extra hot cues. The DJM NXS 2 brings with it a dedicated send and return, multi-band effects and two USB ports for easy switching of laptops. Sounds like a step in the right direction! More on the CDJ in the video above.

Of course, all of this lovely gear would mean nothing if you couldn’t get your hands on it to make and play great music. The good news is, we’ll be stocking up BOTH our London schools with all this kit and more! Our DJ Room is soon to get kitted out with the brand new NXS 2 range and as our London Master Diploma covers DJing as well as live sound engineering, mastering, sound design and much more, it’s the ultimate course to both use the same equipment as your favourite producers and take your tracks to the next level. Find out more here.

IMG_1811This year’s NAMM was heavy on the modular as Doepfer released a new ‘Vintage’ version of their modules, and Roland reviving the classic System-100 range

IMG_1806The always inventive Moog had the most colourful stand at this year’s NAMM, showing off their year’s work including the semi-modular Mother 32 

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